The New Covenant of Grace: A Resurrection Covenant

I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes . . . This cup is the new covenant in My blood. (Luk 22:18, Luk 22:20)

Just as the new covenant of grace is a covenant of the Spirit; it is also a covenant of resurrection. When the grace of God is allowed to work in us, God applies the resurrection of Christ to our lives. This gracious work gives us access to the eternal life of our risen, triumphant, living Lord Jesus.

The scriptures indicate in many ways that the resurrection is woven deeply into the fabric of living by grace. When Jesus was instituting the Lord’s Supper (at His last Passover), He was but hours away from His impending death upon the cross. Yet, He indicated that He would again celebrate with them this memorial meal of salvation. “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” This would only be possible by a subsequent resurrection. This reference to His resurrection was made in conjunction with remarks about the new covenant. “This cup is the new covenant in My blood.” The resurrection is here linked with the new covenant of grace.

Soon after this statement regarding His resurrection, Jesus would be crucified. Three days later, the resurrection would be a reality. When some of the women came to the tomb with spices and oils, angelic beings announced the victorious truth. “He is not here, but is risen!” (Luk 24:6). The resurrection was forever an accomplished fact of history. The resurrection powerfully proved that Jesus was the Son of God: “Declared to be the Son of God with power . . . by the resurrection from the dead.” Jesus’ sacrifice for sin was accepted by the Father. “And He Himself is the propitiation [i.e., satisfactory payment] for our sins” (1Jn 2:2). Now, God’s grace could be poured out on all who would believe in the Lord Jesus.

The resurrection powerfully proved that Jesus was the Son of God

Fifty days after the crucifixion (on the day of Pentecost), the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the followers of Christ. Empowered by His Spirit, the early church began to live in the power of the resurrection, proclaiming boldly the eternally ordained resurrection victory of their Lord. “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it” (Act 2:23-24).

Prayer

Lord God of resurrection, I praise You for the resurrection of Your Son, Jesus, my Savior. Lord Jesus, I greatly anticipate celebrating the Lord’s Supper with You some day in the full reality of Your kingdom. Meanwhile, please work in my life the richness of Your grace, secured by Your sacrificial death and resurrection victory. In Your mighty name, I pray, Amen.

Copyright © 2004 by Bob Hoekstra. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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